“The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” ~ Deuteronomy 31:8
For over a week now, every time I read a passage like the one above, God highlights it and grabs my heart, drawing my attention to it. Today, when I found myself again caught by this version of the same theme, I bowed before Father and prayed, “Lord, You keep grabbing me with this word to not fear or be dismayed, but to be strong and courageous, but I do not understand why. Is something coming? Please prepare me to stand.”
Then, as I read further, Father brought clarity of understanding to me. In Deuteronomy 31, God has Moses preparing the people to enter in to possess the land of promise. But God has warned Moses that, once the children of Israel have done so, they will become complacent in their relationship with God because of their prosperity and ease, and they will turn again to serve other gods, coming under the disciplining hand of Father’s anger over their spiritual harlotry. As He is speaking with Moses, He says these words:
“…for I know their intent which they are developing today…” ~ Deuteronomy 31:21.
King-Daddy-God knows the intent of the heart of mankind even before that man realizes the path he is heading for in his ungodly thoughts. It is like being on a diet instead of a live-it plan. A live-it plan comes to one with a heart for true change, to be transformed to no longer walk in or desire the old, but to make the very person they are into the new they are possessing, making the new way to be how they live from now to eternity. We go on a diet so we can lose weight, and often without our even realizing it, our intent is to return to our old ways of eating and our sedentary lifestyle once we get what we want.
Too often we treat our relationship with God that way. “I will stay the course of righteousness until I get my desire, or until it gets too hard to follow,” failing to realize that the word “until” in our vocabulary sets our hearts with intent to return to our own way. That is what God saw in the children of His heart’s desire. So He warned Moses in order for him to prepare Joshua and those who lead with him to lead the people with determined purpose that would require of them much strength of character and courage to stand firm and stay the course despite the leanings of those they lead.
So what does that have to do with us today, Beloved?
We are in the midst of a nation of people who are walking their own way, and that diet is alive even in the body of the followers of Christ. Our call as the people of God is to live-IT, and to do so with the intent of bringing others back to live-IT with us, in sincerity of heart toward God and with committed purpose.
“Then He (the Lord) commissioned Joshua the son of Nun, and said, ‘Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the sons of Israel into the land which I swore to them, and I will be with you’” ~ Deuteronomy 31:23, (authors note).
Just as God personally charged Joshua with individual responsibility to lead the people in the ways of God, trusting His Presence with him, thus He is commissioning me today to be careful how I live so that I am strong and courageous to show the way of true and eternal life to those around me. And just as God later has Moses call together the others charged with leading alongside Joshua, in order to extend the commissioning to them, thus God has me writing to you today.
If this teaching resonates with your spiritual heart toward God, be careful to know, Beloved, that you too are given charge this day to live-IT, despite the cost to you personally, with strength and courage so that Father may use you to lead many to follow Him into eternity.
I am a member of SparkPeople.com, and leader of a couple of teams. One of those is one for which I just accepted the position of co-leadership during the absence of the main leader who is in a difficult season of life. Unlike my other team, which is a Christian team, this team has people from all walks of life in it. Because of a bad experience of the past, when I was just being who I am in Christ and hit a wall of persecution and rejection where I was told to “stop mentioning God or leave,” this morning I found myself praying how I should “speak” when responding to those I do not know, but can tell they probably do not know my God. My concern was to not be so strongly me, a seeker of Jesus through prayer for all people, in love with the Triune and with those I minister to and walk alongside, that I inadvertently push them away. God convicted me in that moment to have the courage to be who I am in Him, and leave their response to Him. It is, after all, Him they are truly rejecting.
This is the call of this day. We are in a day when we hesitate to show our Christian colors for fear of rejection and persecution. But we cannot be one thing in the midst of the people of God, act like the people of the world when in their midst or cow down for fear of them knowing who we are in Him – thus leaving them to conclude that we are just as they are, and fulfill this call to lead others to possess the land of promise.
Our day is strategic in a world of chaos. We do not have time for a diet lifestyle. God is not calling us to necessarily break any laws against proselytizing, but He is calling us to be His people, living His will and way where we are, without fear of the rejection and persecution that will come from those who reject Him.
Those who see in us something they desire to have will ask us where we got it and how they too may possess it. We do not have to be pushy in our desire for others to follow Christ. We can love all people as they are with hope of being a light that draws them to find Him without forcing our way on them. It will take strength of character to shine for Him, and courage of heart to do so in the society in which we live today.
On this subject, there is one other thing God is speaking to me that is vital as we seek to live-IT for His glory and the good of those we hope to help to find righteous paths and peaceful pastures. But this part is long, and thought two will also take some words to express it fully, so we will continue tomorrow.